Posts Tagged ‘roosting chickens’

Confessions of a Chicken Keeper

January 20, 2010

I have learned a lot about chickens. There is no doubt about that. However, I have much to learn, as I’m sure many beginner chicken keepers do. So here are some confessions (and yes, it’s another list because this is on my mind but I really don’t have the time or energy at the moment to flesh it out more).

  • Our chicken coop is not sufficient for Illinois winters.
  • Or, at least it isn’t sufficient for roosters.
  • My roosters have frostbitten combs and wattles.
  • We had a bunch of eggs freeze because only the kids could get to the nesting box (Tim fixed that so that we can now get eggs, too)
  • I had a sick hen and I don’t know what was wrong with her.
  • She got over it, whatever it was, despite a lack of intervention on my part.
  • I can’t really tell the hens apart, except for:
    1. Miss Ducky, an orpington with oranger legs than the others
    2. Lula Mae, the only New Hampshire hen we have left
    3. Chicken Joe, our New Hampshire rooster
  • I have too many roosters.
  • My 3 Orpington roosters are all named Chuck Norris, even though I could probably tell them apart by now if I tried harder.
  • They really don’t have enough roost space.
  • They are roosting on the roosts Tim made, but those roosts are hooked up to a ladder and they roost on the ladder, which means they also poop on each other.
  • We actually forgot to close them in one night. Tim and I went out to close them in but they weren’t in. So it was actually a miscommunication and neither of us took care of it.
  • I didn’t realize we forgot to shut them in until the next morning when the roosters were crowing right near the house quite early in the morning.
  • They are all unharmed, amazingly enough.
  • They are eating feed from the farm supply store instead of the more natural, healthier feed Scott the Farmer was bringing me.
  • I want him to bring me that feed, but he thought I didn’t because I kept buying the feed from the store because I kept running out.
  • I haven’t talked to him about this yet, despite the fact that it’s been a month or longer that I’ve been using the feed from the store.
  • I am totally getting more chicks next spring so that we have eggs in the winter again.
  • Yes, I realize we are totally lucky to have eggs in January.
  • Lula Mae is finally moulting.
  • She doesn’t look very pretty.
  • She’s still my favorite, but please don’t tell the other hens.
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Lots and lots of chickens

June 8, 2009

This chick apparently missed the memo about not roosting on top of the waterer.

Not supposed to roost there, silly!

Not supposed to roost there, silly!

Here are a few more pictures of the 4 week old chicks that I took last week. They are doing well, despite the fact that the bulb in the heat lamp went out sometime last night or this morning. I was totally freaked out, but they are all ok and perked up as soon as I put the new bulb in the lamp. 

4weekoldBO1

Four week old Buff Orpington chicks

4 week old Buff Orpingtons in their brooder

4 week old Buff Orpingtons in their brooder

Here are some of the big chickens enjoying their favorite bush. It provides shade as well as a nice place for dust baths.

Chickens favorite bush

Chickens favorite bush

And finally here is a picture of Swirly. He is a sweety and is my buddy. He has the most beautiful amber colored eyes. He follows me when I feed the cows. If I didn’t know better, I’d think he was trying to kill me by tripping me since he weaves in and out of my legs and I really have to watch my step.

Swirly

Swirly

Chicken pictures

May 27, 2009

The big chickens have been free ranging and so far, so good. They seem quite happy, they put themselves in their coop at night, and they haven’t gotten eaten or run over. They liked being under the car or truck the first few days, but then that didn’t work out when we had to leave. So they finally found a bush right by the house that is good for resting and dust baths (the bush is on the left side of the top picture). They like to roost on the split rail fence that runs along one side of the house, too. 

Chickens roosting on split rail fence

Chickens roosting on split rail fence

Roosting Hen

Roosting Hen

The little chicks like to roost, too. We put the roost in the same day we got them and some of them started roosting right away, at 1 week old. Here they are at 2 weeks old in the brooder that Tim made. I don’t think there is such a thing as “too early” for a roost for chicks. They will figure out how to roost as soon as there is something to roost on.

2 week old Orpington chicks roosting

2 week old Orpington chicks roosting

Orpington chicks roosting at 2 weeks old

Orpington chicks roosting at 2 weeks old

Here are a few more pictures of the chickens. These are the Buff Orpingtons at 2 weeks old. I tried to get a picture of all of them, but since there are 20 and they move around a lot, this is the best I can do.

Orpington chicks 2 weeks old

Orpington chicks 2 weeks old

Orpington chicks at 2 weeks old

Orpington chicks at 2 weeks old

And here is another picture of the New Hampshire chickens free ranging. In this picture they are in part of the driveway. You can see that we clearly have two roosters. Chicken Joe is the slightly darker rooster who doesn’t have all the black tail feathers. The hen in the forground with the black tail feathers is the one we’ve named Rosalie, I think. It’s really hard to tell them apart, but Rosalie has a ring of black tail feathers, so that looks like her. I’ll post more pictures of the pullets as I take them.

Free ranging chickens

Free ranging chickens